Degrowth in Movement: Exploring Pathways for Transformation

Mathai, Manu V. and Stevis, Dimitri (2021) Degrowth in Movement: Exploring Pathways for Transformation. Review of Radical Political Economics, 54 (1). pp. 122-135. ISSN 1552-8502

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The volume under review here takes the view that redressing entrenched injustice and resulting socioecological crises is not about smarter management of the system but requires radical rethink�ing and transformation. To that end, it presents degrowth as a three-pronged proposal. The first prong constitutes a critique of the “global growth paradigm” requiring a reduction in the “bio�physical size of the economy.” Second is a recognition that unjust appropriation of biophysical stocks and flows is ultimately made possible by deeply entrenched impunity—an “imperial mode of living”—and a call therefore for the “depriviligization” of those who live beyond their just share of socioecological resources. In other words, degrowth, as this book presents it, takes aim at the “overdeveloped” countries of the Global North. The third prong represents a creative and constructive enterprise of imagining “growth-independent institutions and infrastructures” (12). These alternatives are built on values such as “sharing, simplicity, conviviality, care, and the commons” (D’Alisa, Demaria, and Kallis 2015). This volume reflects on such concepts and illustrates instances of these values in practice. The editors make it a point to distinguish and contrast these progressive values from those of “progressive productivists,” or what the book also refers to, with a significant degree of generalization, as a “socialist futurism” (10) invested in emancipation through further economic growth, productivity gains through scale, technological progress, centralization, and finally, redistribution.

Item Type: Article
Authors: Mathai, Manu V. and Stevis, Dimitri
Document Language:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Book review, Economy, Degrowth in movements
Subjects: Social sciences
Social sciences > Economics
Divisions: Azim Premji University > School of Development
Full Text Status: Public
Publisher URL:

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